Glorious medieval architecture, sculpted cheekbones, Icelandic blue eyes ... walking round Kilkenny last week, I thought I'd somehow wandered on to the set of Game of Thrones. And that's even before I caught sight of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, the Danish actor who plays the irresistibly arrogant and immoral Jaime in my favourite HBO blockbuster.
Actually, it was the inaugural Subtitle Film Festival, run by Richard Cook (Cat Laughs, Kilkenomics) and Holly Carey. With 45 screenings over a week, this glorious medley of European and Irish superstars culminated in the Angela Awards, named for Richard's mother, who once worked in film production with the legendary Orson Welles.
Our own Amy Huberman, Jim Sheridan and Robbie Sheehan made the trip down to welcome Mikael Persbrandt, the Swedish answer to Daniel Craig, who will shortly be on big screens everywhere as Beorn in The Hobbit; Lena Endre, who worked with Ingmar Bergman (he once called her his "Stradivarius") and is currently in The Master with Joaquin Phoenix; Laura Bach, Vlad Ivanov and a host of other serious Euro A-listers.
The best bit, apart from such a remarkable collection of talent in one spot, of course, was discovering that goodwill and the desire to party transcend all barriers of language and culture.
Now all we need to do is to tell that to the politicians.
Sunday Indo Living